Study Found that ADT Cancer Treatment Increased Risk of Dementia. A study published in JAMA Oncology found that androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), which is a treatment used for men with prostate cancer, may be associated with an increased risk of dementia. Researchers were led by Kevin T. Nead, MD, of Stanford University School of Medicine. “ADT has a demonstrated survival benefit in some patients with prostate cancer. However, it also has been linked to several adverse health effects,” said Dr. Nead, according to Cancer Network. “A growing body of evidence supports a link between ADT and cognitive dysfunction, including Alzheimer disease.”
Researchers analyzed medical records of 9,272 men with prostate cancer not previously diagnosed with dementia between 1994 and 2013. ADT treatment was used in 1,826 patients. The average age of men in the study was 66.8 years. The majority (58.8%) of the study cohort was white. Researchers found that ADT use was linked to an increased risk of dementia.
Dementia Was Diagnosed After Using ADT
A total of 314 cases of dementia were diagnosed after a median follow-up of 3.4 years. The link between ADT use and dementia was statistically significant. Dementia was diagnosed at a median time of 4 years. In men using ADT, the risk of dementia after 5 years was 7.9% compared to 3.5% in men not using ADT. The greatest risk was among men who received ADT for at least 12 months. When authors excluded patients with chemotherapy, they had similar findings. “We show a dose response effect between greater duration of use of ADT and increased risk of dementia. Finally, we find that use of ADT increases the risk of dementia regardless of age, but that older men receiving ADT were the least likely to remain dementia free,” authors said.
“This finding should be investigated in prospective studies given significant individual patient and health system implications if there are higher rates of dementia among the large group of patients undergoing ADT,” authors stated.